Day 12: Part Two, Pompeii

After spending about four hours wandering around the ruins of Herculaneum, we hopped the train to continue on to Pompeii. By now, it was lunch time and we were starved so we stopped to grab a quick sandwich from a shop just outside the site. Once we had that less-than awesome meal, we headed inside to explore the city of Pompeii.

One should note here that while it is possible to visit both sites in one day and get a great feel for them both, I don’t recommend trying to do it during the summer when the temperatures are moving past the 100 degree mark. There is little to no shade at either site and there is lots of walking since you’re essentially exploring two different cities. Just a little FYI. Also, it’s important to note that both Pompeii and Herculaneum are ongoing archaeological sites, meaning that often sections or buildings will be closed off due to restoration efforts or current digs. So, don’t be surprised if you can’t get in to see every highlight. On our trip a couple of the more famous houses, such as the House of the Vettii, were off limits. Such is life, just enjoy all of the great areas you can explore!

Here’s a link to Pompeii’s wikipedia page should you like more detail info on the buried city. POMPEII

And here are a few photos!

The 2nd century BCE Basilica of Pompeii. It had been badly damaged in the earthquake of 62 CE and had not yet been reconstructed when the eruption occurred. This was the judicial and commercial heart of the city.

what remains of the Temple of Apollo

street view with a public fountain in the foreground

Latin inscriptions in the forum

column-lined streets of the forum

Vesuvius looms large in the background.

one of several storerooms displaying some of the pottery that has survived

one victim of the volcanic eruption

There are casts of several victims throughout the city.

And there are also bones from various homes and tombs.

surviving wall fresco

Down the street on the right are the remains of the Temple of Fortuna Augusta.

detail from one of the city’s public baths


bath house from the forum baths

floor mosaic from the House of the Tragic Poet. The inscription on the mosaic says, “Cave Canem,” or “Beware of the Dog.”

tavern. The citizens of Pompeii didn’t want to have to cook every night either!

This is the atrium to what was the largest and grandest home in Pompeii, the House of the Faun.

floor mosaic

one of the bakeries

These were some of the millstones that ground grain into flour. Carbonized loaves of bread were excavated from the shelves and walls at the right.

the oven

one of the x-rated scenes painted on the wall of the largest of Pompeii’s 25 brothels

another scene at the brothel

This is one of the original ten beds in the largest of Pompeii’s brothels.

wall carvings from the Stabian baths

another home, another victim

one of the rooms of the Stabian baths, Pompeii’s oldest public baths

part of the Stabian bath complex

surviving decor

filling up at the fountain

Pompeii’s main theater

A stairway to heaven? Many of Pompeii’s buildings did originally have second floors, but few of those areas survived the burial of the city in volcanic ash and debris.

taken from inside the theater

surviving wall decor from one of the homes

the atrium of one of the homes

wall painting detail from the House of Menander. A 115 piece silver service was found in the basement of this home during excavations.

wall painting detail

another tavern for some ancient fast food

surviving fresco

Pompeii’s amphitheater

Temple of Isis

This is one of the main thoroughfares in Pompeii. The three stones across were for pedestrians so they didn’t need to step into the nastiness that ran in the streets (think lots of horses, dirty rain water, and sewage issues). The ruts were carved into the stone by the many chariots that passed along this roadway.

a tomb for a priestess of Venus on the Street of Tombs

view of the Street of Tombs

wall decor from the Villa of the Mysteries

The Villa of the Mysteries was a large 2nd century BCE residence just outside of town. It houses many of Pompeii’s finest surviving wall paintings.

the wine making room at the Villa of the Mysteries

part of the elaborate dining room scene at the Villa of the Mysteries

one of the many surviving tiled floors

more from the main dining room at the Villa of the Mysteries

It’s amazing what survive both Mother Nature and time, isn’t it?

After a long, hot, crowded train ride back to Naples, we decided to order room service and just relax after having been out in the heat all day. Stay tuned for the return to Rome! 🙂

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